Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Harlequin Award for Bhakail

Some time ago I was informed that someone I knew was going to be getting an award that I didn't know what was as it was for a barony that I did not live in. In other words, I was glad to hear an award was being given but had no idea what it was. It was the first time I was contacted with, "We want you to do the scroll for this person."

I know this person, though. And so not only did the wordsmith let me know the plan as to what he was creating for the words (the scroll scans to Gabriel Fram Evene King, which is the awardees favorite medieval song), but I also had enough time (with a lot of help) to find the original manuscript in order to really flavor the scroll to the person.

So the hunt began for the original manuscript. While I was searching for the Arundel manuscript, I found the Arundel Choir book, with a beautiful example of a harlequin style first letter which I fell in love with, so I decided I would grab that for the first letter of the scroll. Not only that, but he has always chatted with me about some day making a proper choir book for everyone to sing from, so I decided I would try and follow the true to form size of the choir book. The inner border, as well, is from this manuscript: Arundel Choir Book, 15th Century.

But I wanted to make sure to follow true to form with the way the music was as well as the font for the calligraphy. So I continued to search for the original manuscript. Finally I found a visual copy of the exact song I was looking for thanks to a friend. I would have been otherwise lost. So when I made the scroll, I followed the manner of the font and musical notation from the original manuscript: Arundel Manuscript, 14th - 15th Century.

But, there was more I wanted to do. I decided I would love if I had a signature in my scrolls. And I also knew that the receiver of this scroll would appreciate this piece of imagery, so I decided to make a bear in the corner playing a lute, one of his favorite instruments. But I needed a bear, around the same time period, that I would work from. So I found a manuscript that worked with a little bear in it: The Duke of Sussex's German Pentateuch, 14th Century.

Lastly, I wanted a final touch in the piece that really hit home with the awardee's persona, which is French. So I began to look through to find a nice border for the outside that would work particularly well, and I found that there was a theme to most of the borders. I picked my favorite scrolled leaves: Grandes Chroniques de France de Charles V, 14th Century.

I was quite pleased with the final product, as this was the first time I decided I was going to meld various different flavors from different documents together to try and make one full cohesive scroll. I feel I did a fairly good job with that. Here are pictures, in progression order, of the scroll in the making.

This was my first time working on vellum. It was the most magical experience I have ever had. The lines were cripser, the ink lasted longer... if I had the money, I would do everything on vellum from now on.

The scroll was well received. Not only was Lord Tristan surprised by the award, but he also recognized the four specific different pieces I used to create the scroll (not always the exact manuscript, but certainly the area it was from and the time period). I feel the entire scroll was very coherent and worked rather well together. This was my first time trying to create something from multiple sources in this way.